There’s not much more that could be said today on the passing of Steve Jobs, the genius of Palo Alto who revolutionized our information-technological world.
The commemoration of Jobs, despite what some might say, is a celebration of capitalism. We have a man who created and built things that people wanted, even if they didn’t realize they wanted them. What made Jobs stand apart from other capitalists is that he not only built and created products and industries, but also excitement of the consumer class. He made his geeky products cool and a cult-like following grew out of it. As silly as this reaction seemed, it was an exceptional response to an exceptional man.
While his life and accomplishments is worth celebrating, it’s unfortunate that we tend to only celebrate those superstar whiz kids who create and build and excite while those who merely create and build have their names writ in water. Instead, we too often like to overdo our silly fooferahs on those who, to put it lightly, didn’t quite deserve it.
Celebrities are the obvious example, but in Canada we were subjected to the mass hysteria which followed the passing of Jack Layton. The man had a few decent campaigns and even led the NDP to its best showing ever. For some reason which I have yet to fathom, his supporters somehow got the notion that the entire nation was as emotionally devastated as they were and demanded that we acknowledge their pain or something.
Jack Layton’s final words, we were led to believe, were “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Of course, this is a ridiculous. You can be angry at someone and still love them. Hoping for the best and fearing the worst is the philosophy behind any strategic planning session of worth. Yes, optimism is “better” than despair, but being optimistic when you should be, you know, fearing the worst can end up making a lot of people angry. Which describes the NDP platform quite well, actually.
My thoughts are that if Layton merited a state funeral, then the National Capital Commission should build a monument of Steve Jobs on Parliament Hill. Because, unlike Layton, who advocating punishing those who create and build, Jobs actually did change the world. Far more Canadians are better off because of the career of Steve Jobs than ever will be because of Jack Layton.
So yes, aside from the fact that both men died of cancer too young, and that their deaths were certainly tragic and painful to their loved ones, there is no comparison between the two.
We should all pray for a world of more people like Steve Jobs. I imagine it would first begin with a few less people like Jack Layton.